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Fifty-one Members of the European Parliament issued a joint letter addressed to Prime Minister Imran Khan stating their concerns and seeking reassurances that prosecution will cease.
The letter also addressed the current status of Pakistan as a nation which was envisaged by the founding father Muhammad Ali Jinnah differently, where Jinnah always insisted that Pakistan will be a Muslim majority state where people from all other faiths would be treated equally.
Furthermore, the Members of the European Parliament criticised the establishment for falsely accusing and targeting individuals under the country’s blasphemy laws.
With a specific citation of Asia Bibi’s case the letter stated that the woman was falsely charged and was sentenced to death row due to the laws.
The Members of the European Parliament also urged Pakistan to take stern measures and dismantle the constitutional and institutional structures that have resulted in the purposeful targeting of religious minorities.
The statement further said that, “Over the last few years, religious extremist groups, often with support of the Pakistani state, have grown in influence, further generating religious prejudices against minorities. Concomitantly, instances of attacks against minorities, their places of worship, etc. have also increased, year upon year.”
The letter also highlighted the increasing number of forced marriage and conversions of girls often minors from Hindu and Christian community.
The letter also warned that should the violations of the International Covenant on Freedom of Religion continues in Pakistan, especially with regards to the target killing of religious minorities. Furthermore, it stated that the fifty one signatories Members of the European Parliament would be compelled to call on the European Commission to suspend all its subsidies and trade until there is an effective implementation of the Convention is assured by the Government of Pakistan.
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